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Public Policy and Administration


Mark Gordon


Many public research and technology organizations (RTOs) in Nigeria have been considered ineffective in improving the socioeconomic status of their citizens. Effective management of RTOs will improve research activities, such as development of new technologies and processes, which are crucial for national development and wealth creation. Since boards are the organ of governance in public RTOs in Nigeria, their impact should be enhanced. Several studies have examined the role of public governing boards, but the perceptions of stakeholders regarding their impact on RTOs in Nigeria has yet to be studied. The agency and stewardship theories served as frameworks to examine effect of boards on public RTOs’ outcomes in Nigeria. Data were obtained from semi structured interviews with 16 respondents from 6 public RTOs in the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in Nigeria. Secondary data were obtained from public documents. Findings revealed that the impact of public RTO boards in Nigeria was not recognized and not deemed important for Nigeria’s welfare. Although professional and empowered boards were found to be beneficial to public RTOs in Nigeria, the RTO boards’ disregard for best governance practices diminished their impact and relevance. A recommendation from the study is for a governance structure suitable for RTOs and an international monitoring and evaluation process to enhance good governance practices in RTOs. It is hoped that the outcome of this research will be used by leaders and policymakers to create governance reforms in Nigerian RTOs, improve public RTO outcomes, promote infrastructural and economic development in Nigeria, and wellness of Nigerian citizens.